The Habs finally returned to action this week,
and although their season didn’t start as well as many hoped, their second
outing was an impressive 6-1 drubbing of Toronto. Meanwhile, the Hamilton
Bulldogs also dropped the puck on their season and won both their contests in
Manitoba. We have a new grading system plus a brand new feature, as well
as the Final Thought which looks at the Canadiens goal song, in the first
edition of the HW Recap – Season Four.
We’ve made a couple of changes to the grades
this season. First off, we’ve expanded the number of potential ratings to
include quarters (.25 and .75’s), as well as bringing back the ratings system
from several years ago. The "new" and more detailed ratings system is as
8.00 to 10.00:
I) Stars/Superstars playing at or above performance and role expectations.
II) Above average players producing beyond performance and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering well beyond performance and role
7.00 to 7.75:
I) Stars/Superstars playing below performance and role expectations.
II) Above average players producing at performance and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering beyond performance and role expectations.
I) Stars/Superstars playing far below performance and role expectations.
II) Above average players producing below performance and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering at performance and role expectations.
I) Stars/Superstars playing outrageously below performance and role
II) Above average players producing far below performance and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering below performance and role expectations.
9.25 Solid when he
needed to be vs Toronto, but it’s certainly not time to start a goalie
9.00 Like Halak, only
allowed the one goal, but did look awkward in the shootout. (Previous:
8.00 Looks a little
uncomfortable having everything run through him on the PP. (Previous:
7.75 Jumping in the
play more often than we saw for most of last season. (Previous:
7.25 Great defensive
play in Buffalo to break up the 3-on-1, skating needs a lot of work though.
7.25 He and Brisebois
formed a capable 3rd tandem this week, will this be the year he scores?
I think so. (Previous:
There were the usual head scratching gaffes, but
looked solid in limited PP time. (Previous:
This was not the player we saw last season, made
several key errors and was caught flatfooted way too often. (Previous:
8.25 His underrated shot is
getting noticed in a hurry, but would he be better suited playing with Tanguay
and Koivu full time? (Previous:
8.25 If it wasn’t for a
mediocre at best debut, this grade easily would’ve started with a 9. (Previous:
8.00 I’m a little concerned
that he and Tanguay aren’t going to succeed unless there’s a true shooter on the
left wing. (Previous:
8.00 He’s definitely quicker,
now it’s time to see if the mind can work as quick as the feet – 1 game it did,
1 game it didn’t this week. (Previous:
7.75 Lack of speed is going to
be a concern, but if he can get the puck to the right places like he did this
week, he’ll be okay. (Previous:
7.50 He did pot one, but he
could’ve had at least 2 more had his shot hit the net more often. (Previous:
7.25 Held his own on the
offensive 3rd line, but doesn’t have the skill to do so regularly. (Previous:
7.00 Too fancy, the team needs
less of the no-look cross ice passes and more of the ones that actually won’t be
7.00 Struggled as the line did
collectively, and unlike most Habs fans, I thought that hit against Toronto was
unwarranted in a 6-1 game. (Previous:
6.50 Solid work, particularly
on the penalty kill, but how much longer will he stay in the lineup? (Previous:
6.50 As always, you can’t
criticize his intensity, but that 3rd period double minor is unacceptable,
particularly from someone fighting for regular minutes. (Previous:
6.25 Came off a so-so preseason
with a so-so regular season debut. As the centre of the "checking line,"
more is required. (Previous:
The new-look Bulldogs got off to a strong start
this season, winning both of their road games in Manitoba and at least for one
week, sit in first place in the North Division.
3 Stars: 1) Denis – HAM 2) Schneider – MTB 3) Glumac –
3 Stars: 1) Trotter – HAM 2) Ouellet – MTB 3) Weber –
It was a balanced attack this week, as no one
player scored more than a single goal.
Goals: 8 tied with (1)
Assists: Desharnais (2)
Points: Desharnais (3)
+/-: Jancevski (+3)
PIMS: Flinn (7)
October 17: Hartford vs Hamilton
October 18: Norfolk vs Hamilton
A new feature for the Recap, this will feature
some former Habs who have since left the NHL and headed overseas.
Acquired from Dallas back in the 99-00 season in exchange for Scott Thornton,
Juha Lind spent parts of 2 years in the Canadiens organization, playing 60 games
(4-6-10) before leaving the NHL. The now 34-year old has bounced around
since then, playing for 4 different teams in 3 different countries. Lind
now finds himself playing back in his hometown of Helsinki (his second go-round)
after spending last season with Leksands in Sweden. Lind is tied for 5th
in team scoring (1-4-5) with former Hamilton Bulldog forward Mike Bishai.
Of note, Janne Lahti who played in Hamilton last season, also plays for this
team and is 10th in team scoring. Have a recommendation for this feature?
Drop me a line (see below).
One of the many things fans ponder over the
offseason is whether the goal song will change or not. Many Montreal fans
were hoping for a change from U2’s Vertigo (for the record, I wasn’t one of
them) and this year, they got their wish…sort of. I say ‘sort of’ as
after half a dozen home preseason games where the song was played, basically no
one’s actually heard the song. I give the organization credit for turning
to a local band (nothing wrong with a little civic pride), but what good is a
goal song if you can’t hear it? Here’s hoping that when the opportunity
presents itself during the home opener, we’ll actually get a chance to hear the
song and then judge whether it’s an improvement or not.
A couple of other notes:
– Although this edition of the Recap appeared on Monday, starting next week it
will return to its regular publication time of Sunday night.
– Due to circumstances beyond our control, our comment feature
is not working properly and hasn’t been for a while. Unfortunately, this
means that any comments sent over the past month or so have not made it to us to
respond to. We are currently trying to resolve this issue and we apologize
for the inconvenience. In the meantime, please send any comments about
here. For any general notes
about the site, send them here.